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  • Hewson map collection shows the history of Ireland at Dublin auction
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • collectionHewsonmapshows

Hewson map collection shows the history of Ireland at Dublin auction

Adam's Auctioneers in Dublin is setting up to sell the cartography collection of the late Dr Barry Hewson, who died 20 months ago, which is centred on Irish Sea Charts and Maps. The auction is thought to be the first to be the first to do the same.

The 426 lot collection is thought to be unique, and as a whole the collection provides an impressive history of Ireland's changing coastline with charts dating from the late 17th century to the middle of the 19th.

Overall, the collection includes guides to Irish landed estates, coastal maps, sea charts, wind and current charts of the North Atlantic, maps of England and Europe, the Bay of Bengal, The Malabar Coast, the west coast of North America, the Turkish Empire and Egypt.

One lot was even drawn by Sir Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I's favourite. Dudley, an experienced seaman, was drawn to the idea mapping all of the known world.

Some of the key lots however are closer to home: in particular, three lots devote themselves to maps and surveys of the Westby estate, commissioned by the Westby family.

One of the three is A Book of Maps Containing a Survey of the Estate Nicholas Westby Esquire in the County of Clare as Remodelled and Let in the Year 1851 which is expected to sell for around €10,000

Early map of Dublin

Also appearing is a folio of 17th century maps of Ireland by Sir William Petty (1623-1687), one of the most successful adventurers to benefit from the confiscation of the estates of Irish landowners. His survey of the estates of Irish landowners, known as the Down Survey, was carried out by 1,000 soldiers and took 13 months to complete.

Major General Larcom said of Petty that his survey "will always remain one of the most remarkable undertakings of which we have any record. We are not to estimate its merits as a topographical work by the precision which has been attained in modern times ... as well as the circumstances under which it was executed and the short time (13 months) in which the whole operation was performed".

The lot is estimated at 6,000-8,000 in the sale which takes place on September 14. Online bidding is available.


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  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • collectionHewsonmapshows